One of the biggest things every Kickstarter backer worries about is whether or not a scam is being backed; and a new lawsuit is hinting that could be the case with the Digital Holga Kickstarter that was reported on back in August.
A reader, who would like to remain anonymous, received a letter from Thomas Alvord, General Counsel of Funded Today–the company responsible for the marketing behind the Digital Holga. The lawsuit is against Alex Ng and Dennis Wong of Smartgears Global Limited–which was behind the Digital Holga– for breach of contract, and non-payment. The letter goes on to say that the company is over two months behind on payment and helped Alex and Dennis raise over $700,000 CAD. Generally, this is extremely commonplace with companies or individuals hired out on a freelance basis for one reason or another and in the most well intentioned of cases is because of a sufficient lack of funding.
But this gets even more interesting.
Instead of responding to the lawsuit, Alex and Dennis have apparently gone on to launch two new Kickstarter projects.
According to the letter:
“Surprisingly, even after we filed the lawsuit last week, they still have not responded, even though we can verify they are opening our messages.
Every indication suggests they are trying to run after we helped them raise all the money…
In the event they don’t pay and/or deliver on their Kickstarter products, we will pursue them criminally.”
The note from Thomas states that it’s still possible that SmartGears could deliver on the Kickstarter Pledge, but that all evidence shows that it’s possible that Funded Today won’t get paid. To that end, the FBI has been notified of the problem.
Indeed, many comments on the Kickstarter have expressed concerns that their requests won’t be fulfilled. What backers of the Kickstarter should be aware of though is that the lawsuit doesn’t involve them at all; and if you get the letter then it’s just to be made aware of what’s happening. Other projects that they’ve launched have similar concerns, and so a pattern is unfortunately evident.
Not only is this sad because it may have been indeed been a scam, but it also means that no sort of digital Holga could have existed to begin with. Hopefully, the backers will get their money back or get their products.